Dude, I Totaled My Car – Update (No news is bad news)

So, its been almost two weeks since I totaled the vehicle.  I received the insurance settlement from the insurance company, and now its just putting that money to good use.  Good use…in terms of a car… sheesh!

I am still up in the air about what to do about a vehicle.  All I know is that I like the extra cash sitting in my bank account right now.  I have gone into dealerships, talked on the phone with sellers, e-mailed some, and talked to friends about vehicles.  I have the numbers that I am willing to spend in my head, so if they can’t get to those numbers, I politely say no thanks, and go on my merry way.

When looking at used vehicles, I am sort of picky (I don’t care what the car is, I just want to feel comfortable about it).   If the car looks taken care of, I am put at ease, but the individual sellers I have talked to haven’t given me the best of vibes.  I would almost rather deal with a car dealership, because at least they have a warranty on their vehicles, even if it’s a bad one.

I saw a couple cars on craigslist yesterday at a dealership that wasn’t too far away.  I actually started to get excited about one of the vehicles, it was in my price range, looked good, etc.  I went and did a quick check for the dealer’s rating at the local Better Business Bureau; they had a rating of an F.  Not buying a car there.

I have even toyed with the idea of going car-less.  This is DC after all, and even though I live in the burbs, I could probably make it work somehow.  The only trouble I find is getting to and from my hockey games (which are not metro accessible).  I would hate to have to rely on others for transportation for a leisure activity.

If I can make it through the next handful of weeks, I probably won’t need a car until late August because of a hectic travel schedule throughout that month.  That gives me a little comfort that I don’t need to rush my decision, but at the same time, I do feel a bit stranded.

Being forced to make a hasty purchase is never a good idea.  I see it happen to people all of the time at the apartment building I work at.  They come in needing an apartment that week.  The building looks to suit their needs, and they sign a lease.  A few months later they come and talk to me saying, “I wish we didn’t rush into this apartment.  The building is fine, but we should have gone with a larger apartment, or a different area of the city.”

I can surely use any tips anyone has on buying a 10+ year used vehicle, or stories of people that have bought certified pre-owned cars.  Any input will be helpful.  Hopefully the next time I update everyone, it will be about my new ride.

Have a happy and healthy fourth of July.  Crack a beer for me.

6 Responses to Dude, I Totaled My Car – Update (No news is bad news)
  1. Bible Money Matters
    July 3, 2009 | 12:49 pm

    Here’s a post I did a while back when searching for my “new” used car.

    Car Shopping

    I think it’s key to remember – used cars have a history. You may want to consider buying an unlimited history check report through carfax or autocheck – it may save you headaches later on. Good luck!

  2. JustJoe
    July 3, 2009 | 3:26 pm

    Dad and Grandfather figures are indispensable in the buying of a used car. Grab one who’s actually worked on an engine, use the classifieds, and take them with.

  3. Brian
    July 8, 2009 | 3:35 pm

    @ Bible – That was a very informative post. I was |this| close to buying a car this week, and it fell through. Oh well.
    Thanks for the support!

    @JustJoe – My brother would be perfect in helping me through this, except he is some 500 miles away. I am by my lonesome here in DC. We will see what happens in the coming weeks.

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